Dental Hygiene: How to Care for Your Baby’s Teeth

Healthy teeth are important for the overall health of your baby. The teeth help their words food and how baby chewing and speech sounds. They also affect the way your baby’s jaw grows.

When my baby’s teeth appear?

Generally, teeth start appearing between 4 months and 7 months of age, but every baby is different. When the baby starts teething, you may notice that he or she will start to drool more or may want to chew on things. The first teeth to come in are usually the 2 bottom front teeth.

What I can do to help my teething baby?

Teething may be painless, but sometimes it can make babies uncomfortable and annoying. Teething does not cause fever. Talk to your doctor if your baby has a fever. The following may help relieve the discomfort of your baby:

• Give your baby a cold teething ring or a cold cloth to chew or suck on.
• Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger.
• Consult your doctor if you can give your baby baby acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol). Do not give aspirin to your baby. Aspirin can cause Reye syndrome, a serious disease that can lead to death in children under 18 years of age.

Check with your doctor before using teething gels.

What about breastfeeding, bottles and sippy cups?

Teething does not have to interfere with breastfeeding. You can continue to breastfeed your baby, as usual, if he or she starts teething. If you give your baby a bottle, always hold the baby when he feeds. Do not leave the bottle in the crib. And do not let your baby fall asleep with a bottle. Milk can accumulate in your baby’s mouth and cause tooth decay.

For the same reason, do not give your baby a glass of juice or milk in the crib. Your baby can start using a sippy cup when he or she is about 6 months old. Do not give more baby a bottle when he or she is 1 year old. Do not let your baby walk around with a sippy cup unless it has only water in it.

After your child is 1 year old, he or she water or milk between meals instead of other drinks give. If you give your child juice or flavored milk (like sweetened milk products), only be given with meals. Juice and flavored milk have a lot of sugar in them.

When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?

start cleaning your baby’s teeth twice a day as soon as the first tooth appears. Until your child is 1 year old, you can use a damp cloth or gauze to clean the teeth and gums of your baby. Start using a soft toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste that is not fluoridated when the baby is between 1 year and 18 months old. (This type of toothpaste is safe for your baby to swallow.)

When should I take my child to the dentist?

Be sure to take your baby to a dentist for their first year of life, especially if there is a high risk of decay or other problems with your teeth. It is better for your child to meet the dentist and see the office before he or she has a dental problem.

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